Gwinnett County Public Schools announced that on Aug. 21, dismissal will be delayed by one hour at all schools to help ensure the safe viewing of an almost total eclipse of the sun.
According to officials with GCPS, the near total eclipse will occur for Gwinnett between 2:35 and 2:40 p.m. and is expected to last about two minutes. Your Local News Journalism Explorer, Joshua Walker, who did some research and covered this for a story he wrote back in May, said his research did not show that it would be easily viewed in the local area. In fact, to see it in its totality, views would have to be in the far north east corner of the state. However, he did note that it promises to be a wonderful experience for those who are able to see it.
“Its path will leave spectators amazed as a sunny day turns to instant darkness for a matter of minutes while the moon passes just in front of our view of the sun and blocks its light,” Walker said, adding that according to National Geographic, the last solar eclipse in North America was in 1979.
GCPS report that since dismissal for Gwinnett high school students occurs shortly after 2 p.m. and the first tier of elementary school students are released at 2:45 p.m. the district felt a one-hour delay in dismissal would allow for better supervision of students during the eclipse. Local schools will share additional info on school activities related to the eclipse.